The study shows that men who posted more online photos of themselves than others scored higher on measures of narcissism and psychopathy. In addition, men who were more likely to edit their selfies before posting scored higher in narcissism and self-objectification, which measures how much they prioritise their appearance.
"It's not surprising that men who post a lot of selfies and spend more time editing them are more narcissistic, but this is the first time it has actually been confirmed in a study," said Jesse Fox, lead author of the study and assistant professor of communication at The Ohio State University.
Fox, who conducted the study with Margaret Rooney, a graduate student at Ohio State, emphasised that the results don't mean that men who post a lot of selfies are necessarily narcissists or psychopaths.The men in the study all scored within the normal range of behaviour - but with higher than average levels of these anti-social traits.
The sample included 800 men from age 18 to 40 who completed an online survey asking about their photo posting behaviour on social media. The participants also completed standard questionnaires for anti-social behaviours and for self-objectification.
Editing photos was also related to higher levels of self-objectification, which has been rarely studied in heterosexual men, Fox said. The finding was published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.